Tuesday, 16 July 2013

16 years...

Recently Mr. Valley and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary. Each year I reflect on where we started, where we've come from and what we've been through that brought us to the point where we are now.

We don't get out on as many evening ventures as we did when we were dating, but our 'annual' night out always proves memorable (because we go somewhere lovely or because it's our only real night out for the year I can't say ;). This year was no different. The food was amazing and the atmosphere was warm.

Ironically, we scratch out heads when it comes to recalling our first anniversary. Our second is easy. I'd been diagnosed with cancer and we went back to the hotel of our honeymoon to celebrate our second year. The dinner at their prestige restaurant that night felt stiff and awkward because the restaurant was SO posh. I'm talking silver service, linen napkins, and the kind of wait staff who discreetly throw themselves at your table to refill your water glass because you just took a sip.

Until one of the waiters dropped a tray on the tiled floor near the kitchen.


Everyone took a huge sigh of relief and so did we. The whole place relaxed after that and the voices became just a teency bit louder, happier not to be whispering as if we all knew what we were doing.

(We mostly knew what we were doing).

Back when I was studying fashion I had the brief distinction of having one of my designs being paraded on the catwalk alongside those of a nationally known designer. Mr. Valley and my parents were present for the night. It was so much fun, and afterward we went out to celebrate at one of our favourite 'treat' cafes (I say treat because it was expensive and prestigious, claiming the King Street address alongside Chanel, Gucci and Tiffany & Co.). We ordered coffee and cake, which included their infamous "Death by Chocolate" cake with double cream. Lush.

At dinner during those first years we'd talk about all sorts of things. My study, his work, my work, families, dreams, frustrations... In that years that followed we only ended up talking about our kids and how much we love watching them grow, what they might be, and all they are capable of through Christ and their giftings.

These are just three examples, but since we've had children we've been back to that hotel only a few times and have also taken the little Valleys (and they LOVED it).

Last weekend we also decided on the spur of the moment to go back to the King St. Café for a treat (seeing as it was the two of us) only to find a demolition order on the door! A peep through the historic building's dusty windows showed everything we remembered that had always been the same every visit was now gutted. Gone. Up for lease. Complete with ancient floorboards.


At our anniversary dinner last week we ended up chatting with the couple next to us about their kids and the griefs, pleasures, and pains they bring. Yes folks, it's all true. As time passes so do the facts, Love may not be as gushy as it used to be, but the maturing makes it so worthwhile.

These sixteen years have been busy, wondrous, crazy, and only part of what we expected. Going through the unexpected keeps it interesting, and I'm rather quite pleased we haven't fit to our own status quo. I'd rather be in step with what God brings our way. in the next sixteen years, I hope it continues and that we can keep bringing glory to Him.

That's my heart's desire.

And if you have a Death by Chocolate cake recipe, please send it to me.

Q: How long has it been since you stoke the time to reflect on life? Did the reflecting bring you grief or a grin?

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.
    I will praise my God to my last breath! Psalm 104v33

Je chanterai l'Éternel tant que je vivrai, Je célébrerai mon Dieu tant que j'existerai.


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